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HRC43: Denmark directs Human Rights Council’s attention to human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran, OPT/Israel, Bahrain, Russia and eastern Ukraine

UN Human Rights Council     
43rd session
10 March 2020
General Debate – Item 4
Intervention by Denmark
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Mdm. President,
Denmark aligns itself with the EU statement and refers to our statements related to the interactive dialogues on Iran, DPRK, Myanmar and South Sudan.
It remains a fact that the human rights situation is particularly under pressure in areas of conflict.
In Syria we still witness terrible violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, most recently in Idlib. The rampant use of torture and arbitrary detentions under the responsibility of the Syrian regime is deeply worrying. Accountability remains essential.
With regard to the occupied Palestinian territory, we strongly oppose Israel’s continued expansion of settlements, which are illegal and undermine the prospects for a peaceful and negotiated two-state solution, based on internationally agreed parameters and in accordance with international law. We urge all parties, including the Palestinian Authority and non-state actors, to comply with international law, international humanitarian law, and international human rights law.
We also remain deeply concerned by the dire human rights situation in the separatist-held regions of eastern Ukraine and in the illegally annexed Crimea and City of Sevastopol.
The right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is under threat in many countries and must be protected.
In Russia, the human rights situation remains concerning with severe restrictions on fundamental rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion or belief. Furthermore, we urge Russia to guarantee the safety of LGBTI persons from persecution in Chechnya.
Regarding the Islamic Republic of Iran we remain deeply concerned about the authorities’ response to the popular protests in November. While we acknowledge recent reform initiatives in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, implementation is paramount, and we find the continued persecution of civil society activists deeply worrying. We also note with concern the continued use of torture and the death penalty in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and in Iran - in particularly for juveniles at the time of the crime.
Finally, we reiterate our call for the release of all arbitrarily detained persons in Bahrain, including the Danish-Bahraini citizen Mr. Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja; a victim of torture who needs treatment and rehabilitation.
Thank you.